Maruthamuthu and his wife Vasuki of Thavasimadai village at Dindigul district hold altogether a different opinion on the successful and lucrative cultivation on land, based on the type of fertilizer that is used. They strongly believe that people who complain that they are incurring loss in their fields is only due to the fact that whatever they earn they again spend it on fertilizers. Instead of that, if they resort to natural and organic cultivation, they will surely be successful with abundant increase in the overall yield. Maruthamuthu and Vasuki are confident that agriculture is the best source of one’s livelihood in modern times.
The couple maintain that it is not their mere opinion but it is their practical experience and achievement of nearly Rs.2.5 L income generation per annum from their 60 cent land on which they do chambangi flower cultivation.
The couple proudly declare that the whole credit goes to ‘Pasumai Vikatan’ from which source only they have researched, experimented and achieved substantially from their fields.
Computer to Kazhani/IT to Agriculture:-
Marudhamuthu was an IT professional and was comfortably thriving in his independent Financial Software Company. The software was widely sold to institutions and private companies. However, he was at a loss to understand as to why he had neglected his available land resource and was engaged in other avenue of livelihood. Moreover, the frequent news of farmers’ suicides did shake his conscience. Under these circumstances, two things had influenced him further; viz.a) very informative tips from Pasumai Vikatan and b) his wife’s expression of interest to go back to their village to hold the plough for their daily bread.
A glance at the yield of chambangi:-
Month Kg. Amount (Rs.)
January 112 8,392
February 374 31,660
March 614 61,597
April 462 28,150
May 552 25,150
June 1271 60,267
July 2,300 1,59,265
August 618 58,972
Total 6,303 4,33,611
Marudhamuthu and his wife initially put their 8-acre land to active use by reclaiming the land which was full of bushes with ups and downs due to total negligence till then. They planted coconut trees in 5-acre portion and maintained it without the use of either chemical or natural fertilizers. However, the growth of the coconut trees was amazing.
Marudhamuthu further explained the modus-operandi of getting such a high return without the help of any manure. He said he dug the ground 5 ft.depth and 4 ft.breadth and filled the pit with sand and 1/4th with tolu uram before planting the coconut stems. The rain water would be fully absorbed by the filled-up sand thus keeping the stems alive. Rain water is the only source of irrigation. Irrigation has since been stopped a year back and now it is ready for cultivation.
Marudhamuthu and his wife Vasuki further shared that after coconut planting, they had taken up seeraga samba paddy cultivation in 35 cent land portion out of which they got around 576 kg.magazool which was used for their personal requirements. They had also ventured upon dairy farm with 37 cows. However, they had subsequently given it up for want of manpower.
Income & Expenditure Account Details for most potent type of chambangi in 60 cents land:-
Particulars Expenditure Income (Rs.)
Cultivation (Ploughing) 3,000
Tolu vuram 14,400
Construction of bar 4,500
Drip water 16,000
Natural inputs 2,000
Sheep manure 20,000
Yield: First year
6,303 kg income 4,33,611
Total 1,66,861 4,33,611
Net income 2,66,750
Self-reliance is the best:- Marudhamuthu and his wife said that at this stage only they came to notice the chambangi cultivation in Pasumai Vikatan. Having been motivated, they approached certain other sources also for getting more inputs. They experimented with ‘prajwel’ chambangi cultivation. However, being new to this, they encountered a few unavoidable problems which they were able to rectify later.
Marudhamuthu and Vasuki again proudly mentioned that they looked after watering, weed removal, preparation of amudhakaraisal etc. all by themselves without depending upon anyone. Only during harvesting, they used to engage two more hands.
Vasuki further recollected and said that they used to enjoy their weekends in star hotels when they were software professionals. But when it comes to real satisfaction, it can hardly be compared to their present life style.
Marudhamuthu has given the following tips and guidelines for proper and successful cultivation in about 60 cent land:-
** Water care:
Water should not remain stagnant in Chambangi field. Hence it is better to irrigate the land based on the existing moisture settled on the field.
150 lt of amudhakaraisal should be mixed during irrigation.
Similarly, we must dig the place near each stem at the end of every third month of planting and put 1 kg sheep manure per each stem and close the surface with sand.
At the time of irrigation we must remove the weeds, if any.
Apart from drip irrigation, we must do canal irrigation so that it would be comfortable to ensure weed removal once in a fortnight and mixing the amudhakaraisal periodically.
Once in three months, it is imperative to spread tolu uram in the ratio of 1 cart per 10 cents.
In addition to the above, 25 kg. neem cake, 50 kg groundnut cake should also be mixed and placed as manure.
By and large, there will be no insect attack. Even if there is at times, it can be effectively controlled by insect repellents.
We can expect yield of chambangi flowers from the fourth month of planting.
Initially, we will be able to procure 2 to 5 kg only per day.
Gradually, it will increase to 25 kg and go up to 50 kg per day after six months.
The yield will still be more if the maintenance is systematic.
Normally, it will give us approximately 6000 kg per year for about 25 years. However, maximum yield will be possible only up to the first 8 years.
Hence, once in 8 years new stems should be planted, in turn.
Rs.5 L per year is possible.
Each plant gives 30 stems containing 60 flowers each per year. In an area of 60 cents land, nearly about 102 kg of yield is possible per day.
The flowers remain fresh even for two days because of organic farming.
Hence, the demand for these flowers at Didigul market is comparatively more and they are prepared to pay Rs.2/- more per kg.
A sum of Rs.68/- is receivable per kg
Maradhamuthu further confirms that he does proper accounting of all income and expenditure and it is his experience that shows that there is no loss at all at any point of time. The business is absolutely profitable.
Marudhamuthu showed actual receipts evidencing a total sale worth Rs.4,33,611/-in a year for which he did the planting in August and the first cultivation in January and then onwards. Still specifically, he pointed out that he was able to procure 6,303 kg of flowers out of his 60 cent land in a year; in terms of actual income and expenditure, he was able to earn a profit of Rs.2,66,750/- after deducting the total expenditure of Rs.1,66,861/- during the year under review.
Having been further motivated, Marudhamuthu has now planted chambangi in about 35 cent additional land with spray irrigation method from which he will be able to harvest from next month onwards. Now, the existing 5-acre land with coconut cultivation is also going to fetch income. He is confident that even if he uses the return from coconut cultivation for the overall maintenance expenditure, he will certainly be able to earn a minimum profit of Rs.5 L from the chambangi cultivation annually.
(the original article appeared in pasumai vikatan issued 25 -09-2011 and reproduced as above in English by P.S.Ramamurthy) https://www.vikatan.com/pasumaivikatan/2011-nov-25/yield/12391.html
For contact: Marudhamuthu - 97876 42613.